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Analytic Criteria for Judgments, Decisions, and Assessments

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Choosing analytic criteria for making strategic choices or judging historical outcomes is a recurring, if not universal, problem. It recurs because no general method for choosing appropriate criteria is known to exist despite the early hopes for methodological innovations ranging from macroeconomic models to operations research, systems analysis, and game theory.

In this report, Barry Watts explores historical case studies of attempts to tackle the criterion problem as it applies to models for making strategic decisions—a problem for which there have been multiple answers of varying complexity. It appears, for the time being, that in the absence of a formula or all-purpose methodology for choosing appropriate analytic criteria, such choices will continue to have a substantial subjective element.

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